Thoughts of...A Kept Man
Before the Lord saved me, people who loved me would occasionally try to tell me about Jesus and how much I needed Him. I would listen with my eyes open but my ears closed. I was not in the least bit interested for three reasons:
1. I was a nice person already.
2. I had a religion already.
3. My church took care of all “that stuff” (salvation, good standing before God) for me.
I didn’t need Jesus, I had THE church. I remember scoffing inwardly at the pathetic rascal talking to me because, rather than me needing Who he had, he needed what I had.
Then I kicked the wheels off my life. Coincidentally, or not, I was reading the history of THE church at the same time. I learned through the study of history that THE church was not trustworthy, even downright scandalous. And I learned through first-hand experience that it was also powerless to make right any wrongs. My self-inflicted problems were not only bigger than I, they were bigger than THE church, the biggest, wealthiest, most powerful church in the world! I had no answers for my problems and neither did THE church. I needed help but all I got was guilt and condemnation to make matters even worse.
So, quite suddenly, who was needy, me or the “pathetic rascals” that told me about Jesus? I desperately needed a power greater than I and greater than THE church.
In my time of need there came another person to gently tell me about Jesus. This time I listened with both my eyes and my ears wide open. And there He was, just as He had always been had I only been honest enough to look. There was Jesus, bigger than I, bigger than my problems, bigger than THE church, bigger than life and all life’s problems! All He wanted to do was to:
• touch me
• love me
• comfort me
• take all of my problems
• give me peace
• give me spiritual sight
• give me everlasting life
• give me rest
• put the wheels back on my life.
I learned the hard way that I did not need a church and its traditions, I needed THE Almighty God, Jesus Christ. Only He loved me enough to purchase with His own blood (Acts 20:27-28) that which He did not need Himself but I most certainly did – the forgiveness of God and eternal life.
That was fourteen years ago. Today, I am still desperately needy. I need Jesus every day. In fact, I need Jesus this very moment. I need Him and He faithfully keeps me. I am a kept man!
I never could work my way into the presence of God, nor can I now work to keep myself there (Is 64:6, Matt 5:21-47, Matt 19:25-26). I never could perfectly keep God’s Law as is required, nor can I now perfectly keep it (Deut 11:18-28, Ezk 18:1-32, Matt 5:48, Rom 7:14-19). I was saved from eternal death by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9) and I am kept saved, by grace through faith (John 10:27-30, 2 Cor 1:10, Rom 1:16-17). I am pleasing to God because Jesus made me and keeps me pleasing to Him (Ezk 36:25-27, 2 Thes 3:3, Jude 1:24-25, Rom 16:24-27).
I cannot keep myself, so I must let go.
Religion cannot keep me, so I must flee.
The Church cannot keep me, so I must not be deceived.
Only the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (Eph 1:20-23, Eph 5:23) can keep me (2 Tim 1:7-12). He, and He Alone, is my strength, my fortress, and my refuge (Ps 27:1, Ps 62:7, Ps 46:1, Ps 31:1-2, Phil 4:13, John 15:5, 2 Sam 22:32-33, 2 Sam 22:47).